For wrapping operations where engineered wood made of particle board and laminated pieces has replaced solid beams used in the past, advanced robotics both improve safety and more precisely coordinate the manufacturing process. (Source: PRE-TEC)
Al, thanks for a great article. I didn't realize robots were being used in the wood industry, but they're being deployed in so many more areas all the time it shouldn't be a surprise. It makes a lot of sense in this one, considering all the hazards to humans.
Save lives and cost jobs. I know this is cliche to say. I know that millions of elevator operators were out of a job once automatic lifts came into play, and they moved on. But this sort of development moved money from people to the robotics manufacturers. In many cases, the works are not trained to maintain the device, just let go. Either evolve or get out of the way is the sentiment.
That said, saving our lives is the point of first world living. However, I would like to see tech of this sort reach places where safety is of no concern. Places where breathing masks as just shirts tied around people's faces. Saving lives in a highly regulated industrial country is like adding a pillow top to a soft mattress. Since there is no money in protecting 2nd and 3rd world workers, we will not see this type of innovation in those countries.
JamesCAnder, you must have a back that's in really good shape. I've been buying mattresses with pillow-tops for a couple decades, because my back isn't and needs all the help it can get. Seriously, though, just because people in industrialized countries have overall better protection than those in third-world countries doesn't mean they don't need more. But I think you're right that those protections should be extended to everyone.
It seems that robotics is definitely branching into a much wider variety of applications. This one is natural because safety is such a concern but robots are also increasing productivity in many applications with the ability to achieve much more precise motion and more complicated motions than in the past.
Agree.I recently visited a Japanese welding manufacturer Nagoya- Wel where they are beginning to integrate robotics with their automotive welding systems. Robotics do play a key role in manfacturing safety and the applications are becoming more diverse in solving assembly processes in industrial factories.
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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